Questionnaires were sent to all anesthesia departments in Denmark to determine the total number of anesthetics given per year, and the distribution of different types of anesthesia. All cases of suspected malignant hyperthermia forwarded to the Danish Malignant Hyperthermia Register during a 6.5 yr period were reviewed and divided into subgroups according to clinical criteria. The incidence of suspected malignant hyperthermia in these subgroups was calculated in relation to type of anesthesia. The results are based on information about 386,250 anesthetics and 154 cases of suspected malignant hyperthermia. All cases of malignant hyperthermia occurred during general anesthesia, and more than 75% during anesthesia with a combination of potent inhalation agents and succinylcholine. The incidence of fulminant malignant hyperthermia was low: 1 in 250,000 total anesthetic procedures, but 1 in 62,000 anesthetic procedures with a combination of potent inhalation agents and succinylcholine. Masseter spasm occurred in 1 of 12,000 anesthetic procedures in which succinylcholine uas administered. Suspicion of malignant hyperthermia was raised in 1 of 16,000 anesthetics total, but in 1 of 4,200 anesthetics with the above-mentioned combination of agents.
Address correspondence to Dr. Ørding, Department of Anesthesia, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, DK 2730 Herlev, Denmark
© 1985 International Anesthesia Research Society